Royal Rule

"If you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well;" James 2:8

Growing up you were often told to do to others what you wanted done to you. This was the Golden Rule. But James speaks of another rule called the Royal Rule. James, Jesus' half brother, shares with us through his writing, probably because he often heard this from his brother "to love your neighbor as yourself."

We are commanded throughout scripture to love our neighbor without partiality because that is sin. James capitalizes on this thought in his writings as the marginalized were being oppressed by the rich and those with power. 

We live in a very divided nation at this time and James gives us the answer to the healing of our nation. He says you will do well to love your neighbor as yourself. Wellness, I find it interesting that in chapter 5 of James he speaks about illness and sickness. Maybe our illness as a nation is not living out royal law of loving our neighbor; that has caused the sickness of racism, oppression, elitism and corruption. Maybe that’s  because we may have a poor image of ourselves.

James states that if we confess our sins and pray for one another, healing will take place. Making a confession of not being neighborly will start the healing process of our land and loving those around us who are different than us will bring down walls not build them up. 

So remember the Royal Rule and it will be well with you. 

Pattern Yourself

“Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.” Philippians 3:17 NLT

Tracing paper is what we used to copy pictures. It was a light, see through paper that we would lay over an original picture and then we would trace the figure and get a replica of the figure.  

Paul the Apostle is saying that Jesus is the figure that we are to replicate and His life is the tracing paper of that figure and there are others who have replicated him also. 

In the scriptures, and in real time, we have models that we can follow as examples of Jesus. Who is it that you can look to as an example of Jesus? God has given us these examples for our learning and encouragement in our own personal walk. So, let’s follow Jesus together as a pattern for others who are watching. 

Living Sacrifice

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1 NLT

People will sacrifice a lot for what they want. They will sacrifice marriage and family. They will sacrifice character, they will sacrifice friends for their own personal gain.

But Christ calls us to a different kind of sacrifice. A sacrifice that benefits everyone. It’s a sacrifice that gives life. 

Paul the apostle is encouraging the believers in Rome to offer up their lives to God. It is not a physical sacrifice that we might picture, but one that means we are willing to submit our lives fully to Him. It’s a living sacrifice, meaning we are willing to sacrifice our will for His, our plans for His plan, our desires become His desires. That’s what Holy living is.

This sacrifice is an act of worship in light of God’s goodness and mercy. This sacrifice will resurrect your marriage, relationships and family.

This is the only sacrifice that pays off, it is the only sacrifice that will make your heart full, it is the only sacrifice that will bring great joy. So, lay down your life to find life.

Perfect Peace

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4 NKJV

Imagine you were asked the question, "What if you could have anything in the world?" What would that be for you? Right away some might say money, wealth or fame, but many would say, peace of mind, happiness or health. The psalmist reveals two things that will bring perfect peace; focus, and faith.

Our focus is crucial to maintaining the peace we desire. Conflict is the opposite of peace. Much of the battle we face first starts in the mind, that’s why we need to renew our minds. But the Psalmist tells us our minds are to be "stayed on" the Lord, meaning we need to "rest" or "lean" on the Lord. When conflict arises, our support comes when we focus on the promise of the Lord. Here the promise is, The Lord will keep us in perfect peace. The Lord is the Sustainer and Provider of the peace we seek. God IS our peace.

So, we need to put our faith in the One who gives us peace. We put our trust in "Yah" and in Him we have everlasting strength. A supernatural strength that never ends. We can endure because our strength comes from the One who we put our faith in.

So today if you are facing fear, anxiety or stress, remember to focus on His promise and put your faith in Christ. He alone is our perfect peace.